Dallas – The Dallas County Community College District will present its fourth annual DCCCD Foster Care Alumni Panel and vendor fair on Thurs., May 9, from noon to 2:30 p.m. at Mountain View College, 4849 W. Illinois Ave, Dallas. The event is free and open to the general public and alumni of the foster care system who want to go to college.
“This annual event will focus on the transition and challenges of foster care students who are moving from public school into college,” said Dr. Shirley Higgs, executive administrator for military-connected and foster care services at DCCCD.
“Each year, approximately 20,000 children age out of the foster care system, and their transition to higher education is more difficult than for their peers,” added Higgs. “Only 25% will graduate from high school, and only 2% will finish college. Youth in foster care face unique barriers as they seek to enter and complete their post-secondary education – barriers which include inadequate academic preparation, limited financial support, ongoing mental health issues and housing/employment challenges.”
She said, “That’s why we host this panel annually to inform others about those challenges as well as the resources we can offer foster care students who are coming to our colleges.”
A vendor fair is scheduled from noon to 1 pm., followed by a panel discussion from 1 to 2:30 p.m. featuring Leticia Gerard, director of the NextStep program for Buckner Children and Family Services of North Texas.
Other participants will include: foster care program faculty from the University of North Texas School of Social Work; Open Hearts Children and Family Services; Workforce Solutions of Greater Dallas; the International Student Foundation; and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
For more information, visit www.dcccd.edu/fostercare.